## Friday, September 21, 2007

### News Bits: MetroPCS in LA, Boost gets upgraded

First off, MetroPCS is now in the LA metro. Good for you guys who now have another competitor in the realm of wireless and the largest unlimited carrier in the U.S. as that competitor!

Second, Boost recently upgraded their Unlimited phone and plan lineup. The new phone is the $130 Motorola w385. The new plan adds unlimited pictur emessaging to unlimited text messaging at the same$5 plus regular rate price. See more about that here:

http://g4pp.blogspot.com/2007/09/boost-unlimited-intros-cool-new.html

## Wednesday, September 5, 2007

### MetroPCS-Leap Merger\Buyout Anyone?

This link tells all;

http://rcrnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070904/FREE/70904001/1002

Me? I think it's a good idea. Metro and CricKet have always tried to keep out of each other's ways to keep from having to compete with each other so there will be no overlapping problems with getting new service...meaning service will have wider coverage, more subscribers, lower operating costs, etc. Maybe even lower price plans for MetroPCS! I'm all for that...hope it happens...

## Friday, August 3, 2007

Just when you thought this blog was dead, there's something else to talk about: entering the market at the relatively low price point of $149, Pocket now has the Kyocera K342. This phone isn't carried by anyone major...Phonescoop shows it as cancelled...but it boasts a nice feature set including a megapixel-plus camera, Bluetooth, dual color displays and, in short, the works. While I don't like Kyoceras, this looks to be a decent phone and it's a welcome addition to Pocket on the higher end of the spectrum while still keeping costs decently low. ## Tuesday, July 24, 2007 ### new Phone from Pocket, Coming Soon! ...the LG xc-4750 to be exact. Not a horrible phone, though it's not high-end by any stretch of the imagination. But hey, they'll be offering it for$89 + tax with a month of service included so I am not gonna complain.

Here are the specs:

http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=527

## Wednesday, July 18, 2007

### Pocket - Weekly Plan, Cheaper Razrs

Well, looks like Pocket took a Page out of CricKet's page...except made it cheaper, as usual. They now offer a weekly plan like CricKet's, except $3 a week cheaper. More expensive than their$37 plan (which offers the same features) by a larger amount than CricKet's $18 plan is relative to the monthly plan it micics (if you follow me) but hey, it is cheaper than CricKet's weekly plan by a noticeable margin. Also, Pocket has shaved$10 off the price of their v3m Razr...it's now $269...and$30 off the v3c so that phone is just $249...though CricKet's...no wait...the Pocket v3c is now cheaper (by$10) than the CricKet v3c! Sweet...

## Friday, July 6, 2007

...they've amped up their unlimited "UnPlan". And they've added a $150-a-month unlimited nationwide plan...but back to UnPlan... First off they've got the usual$60-$80 a month unlimited plan depending on what type of contract and roaming you want. But here's where the fun begins: you can get unlimited local, long distance, text messaging, picture messaging and web access for$70 a month ($50 a month for additional lines) on the SunCom network or$100 a month ($70 a month for additional lines) for an expanded "Regional" area, which includes roaming on other carriers...I suppose that would be AT&T. Granted, unlimited doesn't come particularly cheap with SunCom, but the wide coverage area may well make up for it. ### CricKet: Now in NC, SC and Rochester, NY CricKet has been expanding, too. And promoting themselves with very-much-discounted phones. They've expanded coverage to Charleston in South Carolina, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Burlington (if I remember correctly the "Research Triangle" where Nextel's ultra-fast Flash OFDM network was tested awhile back) in North Carolina and Rochester in New Yourk. Yay unlimited cometition! Note that I say competition because the regional GSM carrier SunCom also has an unlimited plan, albeit at a more expensive rate and with more pervasive, two-state coverage. Phone-wise, looks like there's a$50 mail-in rebate on every single phone CricKet has online right now, pretty much everywhere they have service! Making the KRZR $300, the Razr v3c$210, the SLVR $130, the Kyocera K323$80 (!), the Motorola w315 $60, the UTStarCom 7025$30 and the Kyocera K132 $20 (!!!). Cheap phone with rebate, anyone? Geesh. ### Can you say Huawei? How about ZTE? MetroPCS Can... Old news, yes, but FCC watchers recently spotted two Chinese-made handsets headed MetroPCS' way. Wonder if the Chinese brand names will make MetroPCS cheaper...or just cheapen it... The first one, seen june 19th here: http://www.phonescoop.com/news/item.php?n=2251 is the Huawei M318. No frills...personally, it looks to fit into the class of the Motorola w370 or equivalent. The second one, spotted the 21st here: http://www.phonescoop.com/news/item.php?n=2254 is the ZTE C88. It's actually quite feature-filled, with dual color displays, stereo Bluetooth, a camera, USB data transfer...pretty much "the works". Oh and it looks moderately cool as well...a heckuva lot cooler in my opinion than what UTStarCom is making for Verizon anyway. Wonder how much it'll cost...MetroPCS'll pick up some of the tab for having its brand exclusively plastered round the phone, right? ### Revol Intro's PTT,$67 Plan

Along with a few new (as usual with such carriers not new to the world, just to the carrier) phones, Revol has introduced Push To Talk. It's $7 per month unless you have the$57 or $67 plans...or for now the$47 plan, in which case it's included in the monthly fee. That's for unlimited, of course.

Phone-wise, the typical lot of Kyocera feature phones sport the feature: the KX16 Candid, the K322 (like the Cyclops but different), the KX160 Xcursion and the KX444. I'm 99.9999% sure that Revol PTT runs on Kodiak's version of the service...meaning that the connection will be a few seconds (slow) to start but great after that.

...and for the other thing: if you want cheaper international calling, call forwarding and international text messaging in addition to your high-end unlimited-plan features, Revol has added a flagship plan for just that...at a shocking (for unlimited) $67 per month. Then again, stepping up to just Call Forwarding and International Text Messaging from the lower plan costs the same so why not... ### Pocket - New Phone, New Coverage, New Ringtone Store! Yes, I'm finally getting back "into the loop" as far as unlimited cellular goes. So take a look here because I'll start posting here more often... First off, Pocket has just gotten a new phone. Well, not really new in that it's hot off the manufacturing lines but new in that it's new to the carrier. It's the Motorola v262. Granted, it's not a fefature phone by any stretch of the imagination, but it is color, it is a flip, it does have an external display, and it's just$79 plus tax. Cheaper than any other phone on Pocket with a color screen. Then again, people seem iffy on the quality of this model...though they're A LOT more iffy on the quality of the "next model up", the Kyocera Milan that Pocket offers for $20 more. EDITED: I said earlier that the Moto v262 has reversed send\end keys. Looks like the Pocket version doesn't. Sweet. Second, Pocket has extended their home coverage monolith to the Rio Grande valley. Now keep in mind the coverage extends only to Brownsville and Raymondville in the southeastern direction...no Corpus Christi yet...but every little bit helps, and in this case it's not really just "a little bit". I'm honestly not sure whether to trust the coverage maps or not, but if I'm more optimistic than they are...and am correct in my optimism...Pocket's coverage triangle is downright huge compared with anything below regional carriers like Dobson CellularOne (now part of AT&T). Which, for an unlimited carrier, is uber-cool. Third, Pocket now has its own ringtone and graphic store. Not much will be said here because it's darn expensive and seems to be Latino-oriented (nothing against Latinos but I'm not one). Just sayin' they noow have their own media portal. In sum, a good bit has happened with Pocket recently, and so far that's been a good thing. ## Friday, May 18, 2007 ### Pocket Ain't Worried, Pocket's Got Roaming Okay, amid the time when I should be doing other things I was surfing Pocket's website...and they are not only coming out with service in the Rio Grande valley in less than a week but they now have roaming! Granted, it's expensive and still rather limited (Verizon's own network outside of Pocket's service area is the only coverage) but hey, it means that your phone will now work wherever you are as long as you're on Pocket or Verizon's towers. The disadvantage? Well, first off you're using a credit card (or an American Roaming Network prepaid card) off of Verizon's own towers anyway, and you can't receive calls that way, and on Verizon's towers you're limited to calling, including I think call waiting and 3-way calling, and contacting 611 or paying up your account via phone. And receiving calls. And yes, it's expensive: 59 cents a minute. Granted, this is cheaper than MetroPCS's more expensive rate, but I'm thinking that MetroPCS's roaming-on-Verizon rate is 49 cents a minute...:( So the really great thing here is being able to make calls using the American Roaming Network with s imple PRL update and an airtime card purchase...at$30 you can get 25 cent per minute calling, at $20 you get 33.3 cents, and at$10 you get $1 a minute (ech). But refills after the first one are 25 cents a minute flat, so that's good. And ARN has people on it like Alltel so you're bound to get coverage that way... So I'd say that it's a good thing that Pocket got roaming, if only becuase the phones, with a simple call to *228, are now open to other networks. Hopefully though roaming rates will decrease and real fun will begin ;) ## Saturday, May 12, 2007 ### Sorry... Yeah, this seems to be shut down for awhile. Dunno but there isnt a whole lot of activity in the unlimited cellular market right now, and I just got rid of my unimited line a few weeks ago though I may have to pick it back up if I keep talking like I do ;). Anyhow, at least until summer (a month away) this project is on hold; it'll be a pleasant surprise if you find anything new on here. ## Saturday, May 5, 2007 ### Cricket Coming Soon To Rochester CricKet just posted on their website that they're coming soon to Rochester, NY. Nice to see unlimite doverage expanding every month or so... Another interesting thing is that they are doing some sort of scratch-off with the Samsung Siren (their newest phone) with prizes being stuff like big-screen TVs. Something to check out at least... ## Monday, April 30, 2007 ###$30 Back from Pocket and v120e stuff

I visited a Pocket store today and found out a few things:

1. Bring in any Verizon, CricKet or Sprint phone that can call customer service and you get a $30 discount on a new Pocket phone with new service. 2. The$40 rebate on the Motorola v120e (old phone) is actually only redeemed after you've paid for three months of service (four counting the first "free" month) of Pocket service. Not too horrible, but it's not an instant deal, and it may not be worth waiting that long for a truly free phone.

## Sunday, April 29, 2007

### Info: Epic PCS

Okay, starting up with the carrier info blurbs again...

Epic PCS is a small carrier that has a netowrk in southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle. Plus they roam for free off of Westlink's network up there (whoever Westlink is) which is probably why their coverage is that big (their own network is quite small). Online, they're at www.epicpcs.com.

They have two unlimited plans to choose from. Their "A" plan includes all the nromal calling features and free incoming, local and mobile-to-mobile calling. Long distance is 10 cents a minute and roaming is 39 cents a minute. The plan itself is $39, taxes and fees included. The "BE" plan doesn't mention any calling features or roaming. Long distance isn't even built into the service...you have to use a calling card. But that means the price of the service will always be$29.99 a month.

Unlimited texting is available for an additional $3.95 per month, and wireless email over GPRS is$2 a month. MMS is also available. Not bad...

The service is $30 a month for just the basic local calling package (dunno how far that extends...maybe just to the phone's local service area, maybe not). Unlimited long distance is$15 extra, the steepest I know of for such an addon with unlimited service. Calling features, on the other hand, (Caller ID, Voicemail, Call Waiting), are slightly less horrible, at $10 extra...because they also include unnlimited text messaging (normally a teeny$2 per month, or rather $1.95, on postpaid plans). Taxes are extra. And yes, these rates are a little high, but hey, it's the best signal on unlimited money can buy...just like Verizon offers the fewest perks of any carrier yet still scores due to huge coverage...except Verizon roams off of these guys, and these guys (except for the unlimited plan, which to my knowledge has no roaming as it has no contract) roam on Verizon. ## Friday, April 20, 2007 ### Revol Gets A Razr Well, the folks at Revol have finally gotten the Razr v3m...their first razr. And they've gotten it sooner than CricKet, which is still selling Razr v3c's. You know, that phone is soooo 2005 ;). Anyhow Revol has the newer version of the CDMA Razr, with all of its features (1.3 megapixel camera, music player, MicroSD slot) but with an additional twist: a healthy dose of sticker shock. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this phone is selling for a munificent$299, plus whatever plan you choose to use with it. Ouch...you can get a KRZR for that much, including what you'd pay for a Revol plan, and the KRZR is soooo much cooler.

But at least Revol has the Razr now.

### CricKet...Coming Soon To Charleston...With A New Phone

Well, now CricKet has a date set on their entrance into Charleston, South Carolina: May 15th. Can you handle unlimited? ;)

But wait! There's more! Samung has endowed CricKet with a nice midrange phone, (the Siren, which looks to be the a870 now on MetroPCS but with a different color scheme) roughly equivalent to the Motorola v323i (though with a color external display and a Samsung logo...and yes it does have Bluetooth) for a relatively palatable $160. And yes, ordering from the website will take awhile...the note on the phone says delayed shipping...but I'm happy to see that CricKet's first Samsung phone (to my knowledge) is a nice one. And yes, MetroPCS looks to have just gotten this phone, too, for the same price. Interesting...same phone, different carriers, different, non-overlapping areas, same price...hmmm... ### Pocket Goes Cheap with the Moto v120e Cheap? How about free? No kidding. On an unlimited service. I didn't believe it either when I first saw it, but once you mail in your$40 rebate and get a $30 trade-in credit (trading in a phone from another carrier...which isn't too hard to find...) this phone is (aside from the tax on$39...$69 minnus the$30 trade-in credit) absolutely free!

Not only is the phone free, but so is the first month of service on Pocket! Like dude, whoa...looks like unlimited is going mainstream...

The catch?

The phone you're getting is the Motorola v120e. Yeah, the phone that has been around since 2002. It's a solid phone but you won't find so much as polyphonic ringtones or a color screen here. You do get text messaging, voice calling, voice recording and such, but that's about it.

Then again, you can, since you have an active line of service, go into a big Pocket store and grab a newer (though still not new) LG vx3200 for $36 plus tax. Though you probably couldn't get better than that, since Pocket is giving this phone away for a reason...like they don't want it back... But hey, it is a phone, and it is unlimited and...best of all...it's free. Here's hoping that'll win some more customers to Pocket...they're a pretty good carrier overall and this is something that's just too cool that they've come out with...all I can say is "grab it while it lasts!" ## Thursday, April 19, 2007 ### Pocket Does Job Fair At Rio Grande Valley Looks like the Pocket network in the Rio Grande Valley is not too far from coming live. A job fair there started today. Positions range from$8 per hour plus commission sales jobs to $9 per hour customer service to manager-type jobs. But probably what people want to hear here is this: Pocket is coming soon to the valley near you...well, if you're in south Texas that is ;). ## Wednesday, April 18, 2007 ### Info: Blanca Telco Well, the people from Blanca Telco replied back to me... 1. You can use any GPS-capable CDMA phone you want (sweet! That means you can get a Razr v3m, Verizon, for$130 or so and put it on these guys),

2. Their network has EvDO! Dunno about data packages yet, but I'll post here when I do...

3. Their local calling area is as follows:

719203 Alamosa
719206 Alamosa
719256 Crestone
719274 La Jara
719376 Antonito
719378 Mosca-Hooper
719379 Blanca
719480 Alamosa
719496 Alamosa
719580 Alamosa
719581 Alamosa
719587 Alamosa
719588 Alamosa
719589 Alamosa
719657 Del Norte
719658 Creede
719672 San Luis
719754 Center
719843 Manassa
719850 Monte Vista
719852 Monte Vista
719873 Del Norte
719937 Alamosa
719992 Alamosa

Sorry for the bad list, but I have homework to do (research paper outline due tomorrow) so tune in tomorrow!

## Tuesday, April 17, 2007

### Carrier Info: Hargray

Serving a sizeable section of Georgia (though not including the Atlanta metro, looks like), Hargray is one of the mmore competitive unlimited plans. $20 per month gets you unlimited local calling.$40 a month gets you pretty much everything unlimited, including text and picture messaging, call forwarding and data access. If you don't have it (most plans do) unlimited text is a rather high $7 a month (rather high for an unlimited plan). Okay, unlimited directory assistance isn't included but who needs that anyway? Oh, and if you need to roam, you can get the basic unlimited local\long distance plan plus 200 minutes of roaming for$50 a month. And if you need more roaming time or more features, it looks like the $70 600-minute roaming plan is everything that the$40 plan is, except with roaming...sweet...

The phones available on the website are older models, but I'm betting this is because the site hasn't been updated recently. It looks like the phone selection and coverage maps will be updated soon, however, so stay tuned if you're in that area, because the rates are very good. Oh, and yes, you get to these guys via www.hargray.com.

### CricKet Stuff

Just found out a little bit more about CricKet's new service plans. I didn't know this before, but it looks like the $50 unlimited plan also includes call forwarding and unlimited directory assistance. Which is nice...though Pocket includes the former feature in its$30 unlimited plan, with the latter being just $3 extra on both carriers. Also, CricKet is coming soon to Charleston, South Carolina. If I remember correctly SunCom is already there, but the cellular industry could stand some competition...:) By the way, the Kyocera K132 is back on CricKet's website now for$80, the same price as the UTStarCom 7025, or $100 usual retail, looks like. Oh, and the Kyocera K323 is now available (though the Slider Sonic KX5 is gone) for$160.

## Monday, April 16, 2007

### Pocket Drops Nokia and Samsung

Pocket Communications updated their website today. Well, they updated the phone info page. Besides shuffling around the phones for some inexplicable reason, they've totally discontinued two of their handsets (or rather, ran out of stock of them). These two were the Samsung a630 (a low-end phone, not to be missed) and the high-end Nokia 6255i. Not that you could find the Nokia anywhere anyway, but it's now gone from the site. And two phones, the Audiovox 8910 and the LG vx3200 will be next, so if you want a cheap Pocket phone grab the 3200 while it lasts.

Oh, and by the way...I've heard something about Pokcet getting some fancy Nokia slider phone...sounds to me like the 6265, which is a heckuva phone. I just hope the rumors are true. Granted, it'll probably cost $300, but it'll be worth every penny :). And if you're wondering about the Treo 650 on Pocket (which is crazy expensive by the way, but may well be worth it to some people who want an unlimited PDA phone with cheap everything), it looks like it won't be out for awhile yet. Something about the data network not boing up to par is what the reps at the San Antonio store mentioned. I concur...8.5 kb/s isn't exactly what you want to be piping to a PDA as modern as the 650. ## Sunday, April 15, 2007 ### Info: Cincinnati Bell If you live up in the Ohio\Indiana area, Cincinnati Bell is available. Not that they have anything special, but they're available.. Their unlimited plan is$100 a month (ouch!) but it looks like the plan is nationwide and includes the usual calling features and long distance.

Phone-wise, you get what you pay for...the free phones are basic, and the feature phones are expensive. As is with all "real" carriers (yes, Cincinnati Bell requires a contract) you do get PDA phones, albeit at a pretty great expense.

And yes, they run GSM...which is probably why they're rather expensive\expansive for their unlimited plan. Oh, and you can visit them at www.cinbell.com. To get to the wireless site, click Consumers, then click wireless.

My verdict: it's unlimited and it's wide-area, but it's costly...

## Saturday, April 14, 2007

### Info: Cellular South

This Mississippi CDMA carrier offers mostly unlimited plans on a two-year contract...they're more expensive plan-wise but cheaper phone-wise than the usual unlimited carrier...but that's the way contract carriers usually go...

For example, you can get a fair number of "free phones" with CellularSouth, and you can get the Motorola KRZR for $180. The Audiovox 6700 PDA phone is also available, something you usually don't get on an unlimited carrier. On the other hand, it costs$50 a month for unlimited local calling. Hey, at least there is a long-distance-and-750-minutes-of-roaming plan included for not much more (roaming otherwise is 29 cents a minute on an unlimited plan).

Oh, and you don't get most calling features for free; if you want them, you pay extra for them, though the charges are usually only a few dollars a month extra. But long distance, texting and picture messaging are more expensive than usual, at $10,$7 and $6 respectively per month extra. So on other carriers (Pocket comes to mind) you can get all three services for the same price as long distance is...but wait...Pocket offers an all-inclsive unlimited plan, albeit without roaming, for MUCH less than CellularSouth's unlimited plan. Then again, CellularSouth has contracts and cheap phones... So my verdict is that CellularSouth is a neat option for people in its coverage area...heck, they even have a data plan, making them a viable carrier, whatever your needs, if you live in CellularSouth's coverage area. Though better pricing, as far as "unlimiteds" go, can be found elsewhere... ### Info: CellularOne - San Luis Obispo Available at www.cellularone-slo.com, this GSM carrier, serving California's San Luis Obispo county, is quite competitive. First off, their unlimited plan, including long distance, is$40 a month...not bad for a GSM carrier. Text messaging is available unlimited for $10 a month, text + picture messaging for$15 a month and text + picture messaging + web for $25 a month extra. Considering that this company likely has an EDGE network in place, that;s not too shabby... ...and if you want multiple phones, your price decreases...to just$30 per additional line per month1 Not bad at all...

...and if you want to roam, the roaming rate is just 20 cents a minute. The coverage looks to be T-Mobile's though...but that just means you're getting a high-quality, though not quite ubiquitous network...

...and their phones are cheap! You pay about the same as you would for an unlocked phone on eBay with no rate plan, and they give discounts if you do sign up for a rate plan, which is nice. The first month of service isn't included in the phone price, but that's no big deal...the phone is cheap enough to offset that foible. And it's GSM so you can bring your own phone, if CellOne's admittedly impressive lineup still isn't enough for you.

So if you're in their area, CelOne-SLO is a pretty darn good deal. Plus they have a 300-minute plan for $20 for those who don't talk much and a$30 600-minute plan. Sounds like a home run to me...

## Friday, April 13, 2007

### Info: Dobson CellularOne

Probably the largest carrier with a fairly inexpensive unlimited plan, coverage-wise, is Dobson CellularOne. They're a GSM carrier and they're in my area. But all their plans require a contract, so I'm counted out.

On the phone front, however, you get your pick of inexpensive, or relatively so, phones, from the Nokia 1100 to the Nokia 6030 (for free) to the KRZR (for a jaw-dropping $200). And there are phones in between, including both the regular Razr and the v3i. For rate plans, you have two choices: a local (statewide in my case...and I live in Texas) plan for$55 ($50 for your second line), or a$100 a month national plan (there has gotta be some sort of restrictions on that...)

On those plans long distance is included, but stuff like text messaging, web and picture messaging aren't. But hey, it's stae-wide or (if you're willing to pay) national, so if you're in their coverage area and talk 900 or more minutes a month this one'll beat out Verizon et al.

## Thursday, April 12, 2007

### Pocket Web and Blanca Telco

Well, I finally managed to get an accurate benchmark on Pocket's data access, and the results are, well, um, underwhelming. On my PC, some sort of compression is going on so the pain of a slow 'net connection is dulled a bit, but when Bluetooth tethering to my PDA, the full force of a slow connection is felt. How slow, you ask? Well, measuring pretty accurately on a 200k download, the speed was a little over 8 kb/s. Yeah, kilobits. So don't expect to replac eyour ISP, even if it's dialup, soon with Pocket. But hey, it's internet, and sometimes that's all you need. And again, compession softens the speed defecit when tethered to a PC. Anyhow, this proves once again that Pocket's network is currently optimized for voice calling only.

On a similar note, I have yet to test how fast MMS sending works. When I do that, I'll have an accurate upload speed test, and I'll post it here. My bets are hedged on it being actually a little faster than downloads, but still slow...but we'll have to see...

About the other part of the title of this post, I am, as you can see, doing information blurbs about, hopefully, every unlimited carrier in the country, however small they may be, and however many plans they may have that aren't unlimited.

But to the point: I've researched a little bit about Blanca Telephone Company's wireless offering. And found pretty much nothing...so I'm reserving a fuller review for later. What I do know is that they run a pure digital CDMA network, offer unlimited calling at groundbreaking rates ($16.11 for residentail,$22.11 for business), charge 11.9 cents a minute for long distance (get your calling cards ready!) and provide a reputably good coverage area in Colorado's San Luis valley, down to the New Mexico border. For further information, I have yet to get an email back from them...

## Wednesday, April 11, 2007

### Info: Chinook Wireless

Based on the web at www.chinookwireless.com and physically based in Montana, Chinook Wireless, which used to be two carriers, Blackfoot Wireless and Three Rivers Communications, has switched to GSM (yep, they ditched their old CDMA network) and come out with two unlimited plans...and if you're interested in the Chinook story take a look at

http://www.mountainwireless.com/news/081806.shtml

Anyway, with this new network they've started offering unlimited plans. Interesting...the "big five" unlimited carriers are all CDMA...but if you're small enough, GSM may well do the job, and honestly you don't see manny small, rural carriers taking up GSM, so it's sorta neat...though I personally prefer CDMA...

But as I was saying, Chinook has two unlimited plans. Both look to require contracts, though the "no hassles plan" has just a one-year contract. This plan is $55 a month (the fee is pay-in-advance and looks to be a flat fee, including taxes and such), but includes only unlimited local calling. Long distance is 5 cents a minute (not too bad but not too great). Call Waiting, Call Forwarding and 3-Way Calling are$2 a month apiece. Text messaging and Voicemail are $5 a month apiece. Caller ID is included in the monthly fee.Roaming just plain isn't available. The other unlimited plan, at$60 a month, is postpaid and includes all the features except text messaging, which is in this case free to receive and 10 cents to send per message. Long distance, again, is 5 cents a minute. And roaming is, again, not allowed, so far as the plan info states.

Phone-wise Chinook is less expensive, however. Unless you're getting the Treo 650, there's $100 or less difference between 2-year ocntract price and no-contract price ($50 difference between either and 1-year price, often less). This means two things: "fancy" phones like the Razr will not be cheap even with a contract, but then again they won't be horribly expensive without one. And if talking and texting are all you do, there is an assortment of phones that are free with a 2-year contract and $50 or less with a 1-year contract. So, though your first month isn't included and you're on a contract, you get, given the circumstances, a decent deal on a new phone. And since Chinook is GSM, you can always bring your own phone, presumably for free. So, while not a traditional unlimited carrier (there is a contract, and it is more expensive than usual), Chinook does provide the unlimited option for people in its coverage area, which is always good. ## Tuesday, April 10, 2007 ### Info: Revol Rounding out the big names in the unlimited cellular space, Revol has the distinction of not having the first month of service included with phone purchases. Which, with their higher rates in general, makes their service what looks to be the most expensive in the "Tier 1" unlimited market. But there are some$29 (plus service) phones, though they're on the older side, and require rebates. Their highest-end phone isn't very high-end either...it's just the Kyocera Strobe, at a jaw-dropping $219 plus service. But Revol, whose price plans range from$37 to $57 a month, has numerous discounts if you care to use them. You can save$5 a month on your bill by using their credit card "Autopay" service, and another $5 on the$47 and $57 plans by pairing (or three-ing or four-ing) up with another Revol line. With both discounts, Revol, for the features, is cheaper on their$47 and $57 plans than MetroPCS or CricKet. And with Autopay their cheapest plan isn't too shabby either. But again, you pay more for the phones, there is no service included with a new phone, and if you don't Autopay you pay more. There are a few interesting features on this carrier, which covers a fair part of the Great Lakes states, such as Revol Perks, a feature that pops up ads-er-coupons on your phone...oh, and they give you$10 for using it. Revol also has a 1-million-plus-song 99-cent-per-download music catalog.

So Revol isn't quite your ordinary unlimited carrier, but they're definately in that category...

And there you have it: summaries of all the major unlimited carriers. Now to the lesss well known, regional, ones...

## Monday, April 9, 2007

### cricKet...Web For Free

Interesting thing I came across today...you can get CricKet's mobile web feature for free (instead of the $5 extra per month) by simply setting your homepage to something other than CricKet's own page. Granted, with some phones you can't simply type in a URL and set it as a homepage, so you might want to enable web for a month just to "get out to the real web" and set your homepage that way, but for most phones you should be able to go, by one way or another, to a URL and thus circumvent the$5 a month web charge.

As a note, this won't work unless you have IM\MMS enabled, as far as I know, because web relies on a data plan option (not to be confused with CricKet's web option) that lets you send\receive data at all. Then again, unless you have the old $25,$30 or $35 plans you have this provisioning so you're fine. Let the web begin! :) ## Sunday, April 8, 2007 ### Info: MetroPCS Here's the other big unlimited carrier, actually the biggest one: MetroPCS. As a side note, it's interesting how MetroPCS and CricKet coverage areas don't overlap...probably on purpose...but anyway... MetroPCS has plans starting at$30 (local calling, nothing else) and ending at $50 (web, local, long distance, messaging, calling features). They ring in cheaper than CricKet now, because of CricKet's new rate plans, but then again MetroPCS doesn't have the features on its lowest-price plan that CricKet does... The one other thing MetroPCS doesn't have is cheap roaming; if you want to roam, you're going to pay 49 or 79 cents per minute to do so, probably because MetroPCS doesn't have any sort of reasonable roaming agreement with anyone, unlike CricKet... MetroPCS's phones tend to be more varied and even a little cheaper than CricKet's...MetroPCS has Samsung phones and several UTStarCom models versus CricKet's not even having the Razr v3m...but the two carriers serve different areas so comparison of phones is likely a moot point. A key bit of MetroPCS information is that they are likely to come out with PDA phones in the fairly near future, whereas for CricKet you have to "roll your own" for the forseeable future. And with new MetroPCS markets an EvDO network is already in place...EvDO meaning high speed data access...which is always nice. Interestingly enough, MetroPCS offers service in less than half the states that CricKet does (seven states versus twenty) yet still manages to have more subscribers than CricKet. Maybe this is due to MetroPCS's being in the more populous markets, or maybe because it has generally more extensive coverage where it does have service...I'm really not sure because I don't have MetroPCS... Anyhow, MetroPCS is the competitor to CricKet, offering cheaper and more varied phones, but with less generous service plans and expensive roaming, in less but more populous areas than CricKet. ## Saturday, April 7, 2007 ### Info: Pocket Communicaitons Sorry everyone. Either my ISP or the wireless radio my ISP installed messed up for eleven hours today (!?!) and thus I'm not putting an article up until now...but here goes... First off, Pocket currently has the most phones available, retail, of any unlimited carrier, though I'm thinking it has the least *ever* available, what with it being only nine months old and all...anyway it has phones that range from the old but good,$90 LG vx3200 to the Razr v3m, at $280, to the$360 KRZR, to the $600 Palm Treo 650 (marked as "coming soon")... Second, it looks so far as though Pocket is aiming to contigiously cover all of Texas' main cities, as opposed to other unlimited carriers' more scattergun approaches. This, plus an assortment of good high-end phones (Motorola v323i for example...my phone), plus just plain good (though PCS) coverage, gets this carrier high marks for service...as long as you aren't using the Audiovox 8910 or the Kyocera K132...ech... Third, Pocket's plans are competitive feature-wise with everyone else's, or will be shortly (with the advent of roaming and a coming-soon ringtone\game store on-phone). Except they're invariably cheaper...Pocket costs with taxes and fees less than other unlimited carriers cost without them...which is very nice...except when CricKet purposefully cheapened their plans to compete...all of which is great... Speaking of costs, the phones do cost more on average than they do on the other two unlimited carriers...up to$60 more, it looks like. But the price difference on service should make up for that discrepancy quickly...

Yes, I know, I'm right now a Pocket fanboy, simply because their service is fine and if it isn't there are people "on the other end" who will do their best to make it right. Plus, their phones are as of yet unbranded, which means that you can transfer files over Bluetooth to your heart's content, and use the phone's user interface the way the designer (now Verizon, for example) intended it...all in all very good...

Pocket was actually the main reason taht I started this site, along with Boost's new unlimited plan...there is now competition among unlimited carriers, and Pocket is a prime example of competition, so far, done right, to the tune of 100,000 plus subscriber signups in the carrier's first nine months of existance.

## Friday, April 6, 2007

### MetroPCS Phones...Coming Soon

I jsut looked on PhoneScoop and saw...yeah I know I haven't done the infopost on themyet...two "coming soon" phones for MetroPCS. They're the LG AX-4270 (interestingly already on Pocket...a phone that's quite good though basic) and the UTStarComm CDM-7075, a basic cameraphone that I have heard nothing about yet. All I can say is "Interesting..."

### Boost Unlimited...More Info

Just read online that Unlimited By Boost will be out for Detroit by July 1st. Just on a forum, but if at does come, that's great!

## Thursday, April 5, 2007

### CricKet Phone List

I just compiled what I hope to be a comprehensive list of all the phones that are, and have been, on CricKet, on the forums. Take a look...and add to the list if you see anything lacking...

http://z4.invisionfree.com/UnlimitedCellular/index.php?showtopic=3

### CricKet Whoops!

Looks like CricKet still has a plan cheaper than $40. It's just that it doesn't include long distance...otherwise it's the same as the$40 plan. Oddly enough, it's not available in the San Antonio area...

### Info: CricKet

Now for the CricKet infopost:

CricKet is the second-largest unlimited carrier in the U.S. subscriber-wise (MetroPCS is the largest by about 700,000) and covers markets in twenty states. Their website, at www.mycricket.com, gives a list of where they serve, what phones they have, and what plans they offer. I'll put a forum post up with specifics on phones and plans...

As of just a few days ago, CricKet's plans, except in the rare case of San Antonio, range from $35 -$60 a month and include unlimited local and long distance calling, text messaging, picture messaging and IM. Web access and calling features (caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, voicemail) are all available as addons (for $3-$5 a month) to plans or as seperate plans. Also, CricKet has made roaming agreements (with Sprint, I think) so you can get relatively inexpensive (12.5-16.7 cents a minute) off-network calling, through the $5-$15 a month TravelTalk addon. Or you can sign up for the new $55 and$60 plans that include 100 or 200 minutes of roaming time per month...

As to phones, they range from $80 for the basic UTStarCom CDM7025 to$350 for the Motorola KRZR. Right now the carrier has a scant seven phones available online...the last time I checked the number was around 9-11.

Again, CricKet is a "Tier 1" unlimited carrier, so there's not really much to say here. But there is a forum dedicated to the carrier, where I'll post more phone and plan info. So take a look there! It's at...

http://z4.invisionfree.com/UnlimitedCellular/index.php?showtopic=2

### Pocket Roaming Update

I had a nice chat with a Pocket rep today, and it looks like roaming will be coming fairly soon, though according to reports a bit late (should have gone live April 1st). The estimated timeframe is somewhere between two weeks from now and the end of May...not bad for a carrier that will be a year old at that point...

Roaming prices may be as low as 25 cents a minute, I was told, though (which is worth the wait!) but this looks to be a low estimate.

I'm just looking forward to rates low enough to ditch a Tracfone as a backup...

## Wednesday, April 4, 2007

### Info: Unlimited By Boost

Here's the first of my "infoposts" on unlimited carriers. Keep in mind that I'll change these to reflect changes in the pricing and such of the plans, and I'll post when I've made the changes. So you can rest assured that these posts will be up to date...

But on to Unlimited by Boost...

This veyr, very new unlimited provider (note provider, not carrier) is the first variant of Boost Mobile to use Sprint's PCS network (all other Boost plans use Nextel's iDEN network). There are rumors that this plan will eventually bridge the non-contract gap between iDEN and PCS, and move customers to PCS in doing so...

With a fairly attractive plan. For $45-$55 a month, depending on your area, (taken out of some sort of prepaid balance, which is interesting), plus taxes which aren't charged now but may be later, you get unlimited minutes (local and long distance), I'm supposing the normal calling features (3-way calling, caller ID, call waiting, etc.), and for now 1x web access (which will soon be charged seperately, at a high 35 cents a day...but then again, Sprint's 1x network is faster than most). Oh,, and incoming texts are free, with outgoing texts sold piecemail at 10 cents each.

The real great thing about this provider is coverage. You can "travel" anywhere on Sprint's own PCS network (but not off of it, at least not without having to break out a credit card) for 15 cents a minute. Plus your home coverage area is quite large compared with the unlimited offering of pretty much everyone else. The service, which is right now only available in California and Texas, covers each state in two or three regions, and inside your home region you get unlimited calling, which is nice...

The only phone available right now is the Motorola c290, which is quite basic (no caller ID display) but good enough (with web and an okay-resolution screen) for a starter phone on Boost. It is $100 with a month of service included, but if you want to get it online it may be as much as$30 more expensive. Best to look on Boost Mobile's normal website (www.boostmobile.com) under the store locator...Unlimited by Boost locations will show up as such, though they're relatively few and far between.

So, to sum things up, right now Boost is on the expensive end of unlimited providers, but shows promise, considering the imminent release of "hybrid" handsets so you can use walkie-talkie and unlimited calling, and other features that should pop up soon (unlimited text, anyone?). And there's that lovely phrase "cheap roaming" that sets this provider apart from the rest...I can't wait till it goes beyond Texas and California (I'm in Texas so I could get it, but I like Pocket better for the moment...)

### Reviews: Audiovox 8910, UTStarCom CDM-7025

Both the Audiovox 8910 (on Pocket) and the UTStarCom (CricKet, MetroPCS, maybe Pocket sometime) are on unlimited carriers. Here are my reviews for them, with the 8910 on Pocket and the 7025 actually on Sprint (same phone across carriers though, just different extras and different color).

Note, however, that my opinions on the 8910 have changed for the worse since my review; it turned out to be a phone that didn't have an address bar on the browser, and no bookmarks either, plus the "2" key went out after abobut two months of usage. Hence my conversion to the Motorola v323i...which I'll review soon...but for now, take a look at these reviews, taken from Go4Prepaid's phone reviews section...

UTStarCom CDM 7025
http://g.memusic.org/reviews/utstarcomm-7025.html

Audiovox 8910
http://g.memusic.org/reviews/audiovox-8910.html

### Pocket Makes Slight Price Cuts On Older Phones

I just checked Pocket's site today, and they have put up some of their older phones again, albeit at reduced prices and with the note that they aren't available everywhere. Looks like they want to clear out the old phones...here they are...

Audiovox 8910 - $129 ($5 drop) - Cheap for a cameraphone, but it is a cheapo phone
Samsung a630 - $89 ($10 drop) - Bulky, no web, no caller ID...I'll pass but it's solid and cheap...
LG vx3200 - $89 ($10 drop I think) - Old but good...if you need a basic phone without an external display, this is a fine choice

Oh, and if you haven't been paying attention to the website for the past few weeks, besides the new phones, the Kyocera Milan, with its caller ID display, is now $99, making an okay but bad-brand (Kyocera is known for its iffy quality) phone. Last, (I might as well say it here as anywhere else) current Pocket subscribers can, for$35, grab a B-stock (refurbished, as-is though they look to be okay) LG vx3200. It's pretty much the most basic Pocket phone out there, but hey, it's $35...then again a new phone with a month of service (if you change your number and are in the right place) is$89...but then again B-stocks are only available in a few places...

But anyhow it's nice to see Pocket prices going down, with $80 phones available from other unlimited carriers. ## Tuesday, April 3, 2007 ### CricKet Comes Out With New Plans Okay, one more news item before I get on with the carrier descriptions... CricKet just redid their plan structure. Roaming plans are now available, with 100 or 200 minutes included, and all plans now include unlimited long distance. As is text, picture and instant messages. The bad news: it's more expensive. Plans now start at$40, up from $30...here they are...$40 - Unlimited local, long distance, text, picture, IM
$45 -$40 plus calling features (3-way calling, caller ID, call waiting, etc.) and full CricKet coverage
$50 -$45 plus web
$55 -$45 plus 100 minutes of roaming
$60 -$55 plus another 100 minutes of roaming

Expensive, no?

And in San Antonio...

$37 - Unlimited local, long distance, text, picture, IM, calling features, Texas coverage$40 - Unlimited local, long distance (?!?)
$45 - Same as other$45 OR $45 with only text messaging but 200 roaming minutes$50 - Same as other $50 Also, the discounts on CricKet's phones aren't nearly as steep now. The Motorola Razr v3c, which was$230, is up to $260. The KRZR is$350, the SLVR is $170 (it was$150), and a few other phones are up to higher prices than they wre last month. Ah well...

From my point of view, it's nice to see CricKet make text, picture messaging, IM and long distance available across their whole line of plans...but at what cost? For San Antonio users, the cheapest per-month option is Pocket again, with CricKet prices going up by $12 as far as their lowest plan goes (they ahd a$25 local plan with no extra features). For everyone else, the cheapest plan is $10 more expensive, though it has added more than$10 worth of features. And yes, roaming is available now, but then again with web access the cost of CricKet's best plan is now $65 plus taxes and fees a month...I thought unlimited carriers were really cheap? I'm just wondering what MetroPCS and Pocket will do in response to this...whatever it is, it'll be interesting... ### Pocket Flashing and New Coverage Okay, okay, this will be the last announcement before I get down to normal business, but in the fairly near future Pocket Communications will be able to reprogram\flash whatever phone you have, as long s it's CDMA, to their network. Dunno for how much though...hopefully you just have to pay a few dollars on top of the normal price for your first month of Pocket service. Anyway, this means that you can likely get a phone for cheaper than Pocket offers it for, then put it on Pocket, then be fine, with all the features, from voice calling to text messaging to picture messaging and wek, available. The bottom line is that if flashing is cheap and you can get all of Pocket's features, you can now get a nice phone on Pocket for less expensive htan currently, and a lower-end phone for very cheap...and if you're moving from another provider, like Verizon or Sprint, more power to you! I, for one, am relatively excited...v3c Verizon Razrs for$120 plus the month of service and a flashing fee isn't so bad.

The other announcement is that I saw a new coverage area on the Pocket area maps when I went to one of their San Antonio stores: the Rio Grande valley. It's contigious with the rest of Pocket's coverage, which is a plus, and covers a nice swath of the area. From what I've heard it won't be "live" until early summer, but it is coming, and more coverage is always a plus.

## Monday, April 2, 2007

### Pocket Tethering!

Yeah, I know, I haven't even given information about what Pocket is, but that'll come...

First off, the web and picture messaging on my Motorola v323i on Pocket mysteriously started working today! Which means I can now get lovely 1x access everywhere Pocket has service. Which isn't everywhere, but it is everywehre I usually go. Which is sweet...

But the sweetness doesn't stop there...

I can tether the phone very easily!

First off, Bluetooth tethering to my trusty Palm TX PDA...

I used one of the Motorola phone models (don't remember which) as the Bluetooth profile to connect my phone to my PDA. I successfully tansferred a picture or two and a movie or two from my phone to my PDA. Then I tried using the phone as a modem...and it worked! What are the settings?

Provider: Dial-up
Username: my10digitnumber@1x.pocket.com
Password: my10digitnumber

And it worked! Slow, yes but we'll talk about that in a minute...

Second, I plugged in my phone to my computer (easy to do as it has a MiniUSB port on the bottom and I have a MiniUSB cable that came with my MP3 player), with the Motorola drivers installed (available from MotoDev, which you can Google, Motorola's developer website). The phone shows up as a modem with these drivers. So all I had to do, on my WIndows Vista RC2 machine, was to input the same dialup parameters as on my PDA and rock out to 1x internet.

Except Pocket's 1x is as slow as molasses for the time being, with what seem to be frequent timeouts and such. Probably because the network is still mainly designed for voice communications, not for data, and thus doesn't have much bandwidth going into the network to start with. Which is sad. But the internet does work...just at speeds that are probably comparable to a 28.8k modem (typical 1x speeds are 50-70k, reaching up to 115k when you do things right and the tower isn't busy...from my experience with Sprint 1x).

But hey, it's cellular internet, and for $5 a month you take what you can get, since it is unlimited. And Pocket will likely upgrade its network fairly soon, at which point things will go faster, and for now it's freakin' sweet to be able to use internet anywhere wirelessly, both network-wise and Bluetooth-wise, for less than dialup access costs. So though I wouldn't yet buy the phone for internet's sake, my verdict at the moment, despite the 200-250 millisecond ping times (actually not bad for 1x service but not great either) and the failure to complete either of the speed tests I tried to execute on it, is "Too Cool". ## Sunday, April 1, 2007 ### Pocket Communications Gets Roaming...Soon... First off, Pocket Communications is like CricKet or MetroPCS, except it's smaller (100,000+ customers), has more expensive phones, aims to keep all its markets connected by swaths of coverage if the present is a good indication of future performance, and is a good bit cheaper than its competitors, to the point that CricKet had to lower its plan prices somewhat to compete, else risk losing all its San Antonio area customers. But anyway, up until now Pocket has only worked on its own towers. Out of their coverage area, you would be outta luck, unless you had a Tracfone (I use Pocket and I use a Tracfone like this). But now, or soon anyway, Pocket is getting romaing! It looks like they're still in the testing phase, and will thus be late on their launch of roaming, slated for today, but it should be coming quite soon. But get ready for sticker shock: roaming will very likely be 60 cents a minute! Then again, it will work practically everywhere, since Pocket's roaming agreement is with Verizon. Oh, and yes, some comanies still charge obscenely high rates for roaming on some of their plans (Sprint not excepted, on its white-haired Free & Clear Area-Wide plans) so Pocket isn't the ultimate villain. Still, CricKet offers roaming (via Sprint) for between 12.5 and 16.7 cents a minute...but if I remember correctly you pay a monthly fee extra ($5, $10 or$15) for the privelage.

But all isn't lost; Pocket (so I've been told\overheard) may well be getting a new plan, at $45 a month (the most expensive plan is$37 right now) that will include a bit of roaming airtime. I'd hate to step out and make a guess, but I'm thinking to the tune of 100 minutes. You see, CricKet is trialing a $60 plan in select markets that includes 300 minutes of roaming airtime...so why couldn't Pocket be doing something similar? Which reminds me...with the roaming plan AND web access, Pocket will once again force CricKet to lower its rates, on even higher-end plans, since Pocket's all-inclusive-save-insurance plan would be$50 versus CricKet's offering without roaming airtime for the same price.

All I can say is this will be interesting, and I really hope the monthly option is good enough so Pocket gets a few more people :)

Oh, and about the other news item I was going to say, nevermind. I was basically going to announce Boost's new CDMA-powred Unlimited plan...but that's more of a description thing and it's late. So I'll do it tomorrow...

### What We'll Cover

First off, my intention is to cover a few news items that have happened recently. Then I'll tell about the major unlimited carriers, then the minor ones. Major being the likes of CricKet, MetroPCS, Pocket Communications, Revol and the up-and-coming Unlimited by Boost service on Sprint PCS. Minor being regional carriers like SunCom and Dobson CellularOne that happen to have unlimited plans.

One thing I want to make clear is we're not talking $200 unlimited plans like Sprint as...unnless something is very, very interesting. What the purpose is here is to keep up the best quality news, reviews and general info about unlimited carriers and plans that provie a true alternative to normal contract plans and even landline phones, usually without a contract, and mostly priced well under$100.

With that, the first news story...

### Welcome!

Welcome to the new UnlimitedCellular.info blog, from the creator of Go4Prepaid! Here's hoping you'll get some sort of information out of this site, and hopefully some of that information will be helpful in exorcizing the demons of the contract-ridden, overage-laden, free-phone-just-kidding cellular world!